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Recipe Provided By
Chef Tiffani Faison


Marinated American lamb chops with rosemary & garlic on a plate


  • 3 pounds boneless American Lamb shoulder, tied 


  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted, ground
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seed, toasted, ground
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

Braise/Birria Dip:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup reserved rub
  • 1 can or bottle beer (optional)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 to 5 drilled guajillo chilis
  • 4 to 5 dried ancho or chipotle chilis
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 1 to 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt, as needed
  • Hot sauce (optional) 

Cilantro Slaw:

  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 bunch cilantro, wash, very roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces (stems included)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño or Fresno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon, and as needed salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tajin seasoning
  • 2 limes, zested, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave 

Black Bean Crema:

  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 ounces, divided butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 10-ounce can black beans, rinsed, strained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream 
  • 4 torta rolls, halved
  • 8 ounces Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • 2 avocado, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced


For the Rub:  In a bowl, combine salt, cumin, coriander, brown sugar, oregano, ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder and paprika.  Reserve about 1/4 cup for the Birria Dip; generously sprinkle remaining rub on the lamb, massaging into the meat.  Place lamb on a tray with a resting rack; refrigerate uncovered overnight.  Temper lamb at room temperature to 60 to 90 minutes before smoking.  Smoke at 250°F for 2 to 3 hours, until outside has a nice, dark color. 


For the Braise/Birria Dip:  In a stainless steel or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, heat oil.  Add onion; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly brown.  Add garlic, tomatoes and reserved rub; cook for another 2 minutes.  Add beer and reduce by half.  Add stock, guajillo chilis, ancho or chipotle chilis, ginger, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cilantro, thyme and oregano; simmer on low until lamb comes out of smoker.  Add lamb to liquid; partially cover and cook for another hour, or until lamb is tender enough to tear apart.  Remove lamb from liquid; strain out remaining solids.  Season broth with salt and hot sauce as desired; pour over lamb to keep it warm. 

For the Cilantro Slaw:  In a large bowl, mix cabbage, cilantro, scallions, onion, Jalapeño or Fresno pepper, 1 tablespoon salt and Tajin seasoning.  Transfer to a strainer; let sit over the bowl for 20 minutes to strain all liquid.  Shake as dry as possible.  Return to bowl; add lime zest, lime juice, honey or agave and more salt if desired.

For the Black Bean Crema:  In a stainless-steel sauce pot on medium heat, sauté onion in about 1/3 of the butter for 4 minutes.  Add garlic and jalapeño; cook for 2 minutes or until soft.  Season with salt.  Add beans, cumin, coriander and chili powder; cook another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Season with salt.  Add cream; reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, puree while slowly adding remaining butter until melted.  Season with salt and hot sauce as needed.  

For Torta assembly:  Dry toast torta rolls; spread each side with a thin layer of Bean Crema, top with cheese.  On bottom roll, add shredded lamb, topped with slaw and sliced avocado.  Serve warm broth in a bowl for dipping.

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